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Monday, August 31, 2009

Universal spokesperson says Disney/Marvel deal won't impact park

More from today's stunning news that Disney is purchasing Marvel:

Questions quickly arose over the future of Marvel-themed attractions located at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando.

Here's what a Universal spokesperson said to the Orlando Sentinel:
"Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal's Islands of Adventure and the Marvel characters are a beloved and important part of the Universal Orlando experience. They will remain so," said Tom Schroder, a Universal spokesman. "Our guests are going to get to meet Spider-Man and all our other Marvel characters. We believe our agreement with Marvel stands and that the Disney/Marvel deal will have no impact on our guest experience."

Disney CEO Bob Iger said the following on CNBC today:
"Marvel characters have already proven to be strong in terms of theme park attraction and we believe there are a lot of opportunities around the world, not in every one of our parks because there are some existing agreements that we obviously have to honor, but in a number of places for us to use the Marvel characters to basically help us grow our theme park business and better entertain people."

My take:
While it appears Spiderman, the Hulk, the X-Men and Doctor Doom won't be coming to Walt Disney World (Universal apparently has the east coast rights for as long as the attractions are operating), you can bet that no new characters will be coming to Universal. I wouldn't be surprised if a team of Disney lawyers also will be looking to find some holes in the deal. In the meantime -- it appears the doors are wide open for Spiderman and the rest of the Marvel cast to swing their way into any other Disney park, for instance, Disney's California Adventure. This also may be the concept Disney's been looking for to finally build the third California-based park.

This is all just guesswork right now. One thing's for sure, Disney is looking to the future and they've just grabbed one of the two major players in the superhero genre. I wonder what DC Comics thinks about this? Of course, DC Comics and Warner Bros. teamed up years ago.

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